Homeschool Resources

The Journey (e-book Resource)

This e-book resource will provide you with information about testing, dual enrollment, transcripts, and more! In addition, you will find tips from the author and advice to help guide you in this endeavor. Check out the sections that interest you the most. If you have any questions that are not answered in this publication, please contact us and we will research a solution.


High School Curriculum Planning

When planning your child’s high school curriculum, you have the freedom to choose the classes that your high school students will take that best prepare them for life after graduation. Each state has academic suggestions for graduation and umbrella organizations may have specific requirements but, as the parent, you have the freedom to make final decisions.

Dual Enrollment Grant

Students can begin taking dual enrollment with us in 10th grade. Juniors and seniors can earn up to 30 hours with Bryan College for less than $300 (plus books/fees). Out-of-state students receive a $200 scholarship per class. Write to our dual enrollment department at to request more information.

Online Prep for ACT

36 University provides online prep for the ACT and only charges $15 a month with no time commitment. If you register with 36 University and use the code “Bryan,” the price will be reduced by $3, charging only $12 a month.


Transcripts & Diplomas

Most colleges require a high school transcript for admission. If you are registered under an umbrella organization, then more than likely they will provide you with a transcript. However, you may need to put together your own transcript. Most colleges are concerned with the total credits earned and the student’s GPA. In addition, if dual enrollment courses were taken through a college or university, most college admissions offices will require official transcripts from the school awarding the college credit. You should contact the Registrar’s office at the college granting credit to request an official transcript be sent to the admissions office. Colleges rarely require a printed diploma. Most colleges require a transcript and test scores.

We are happy to offer you a free transcript builder that calculates your student’s GPA. 

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College Entrance Exams and Merit Scholarships

Nearly every college and university requires applicants to submit scores from at least one college entrance exam. These tests are designed to assess a student’s skills and evaluate college readiness. The most commonly required tests are the ACT and SAT; however, there is a new college entrance exam that is becoming more widely accepted called the Classic Learning Test or CLT. Bryan College superscores the ACT and the SAT.

At Bryan College, a student’s dual enrollment GPA (with a minimum of 9 credits earned) can be used to calculate merit scholarships in lieu of a college exam score. This is great news for students who earn high GPAs, but who test poorly or who do not have the opportunity to take necessary exams. 

Scholastic Aptitude Test

The SAT college exam includes a Reading Test, a Writing and Language Test, and a Math Test. It also has an optional essay component (additional fee required). The SAT was recently updated. The new and old SATs are compared in the chart below:

Comparison Chart
Additional Resources

American College Testing

The ACT is comprised of four subject area tests: English, math, reading, and science. A student is scored from 1 – 36 on each of the four tests. These four scores are then averaged to produce the student’s Composite ACT score. There is an additional Writing Test option that requires the student to write an essay. This portion of the ACT is optional but may be required by specific schools.

Author Tip: The science portion of the ACT does not test what your student learned during science class in high school. This portion tests your student’s ability to read and analyze the data presented. Tutorials will help students learn how to do this well.

Learn More about the ACT

Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test

The PSAT is designed to be taken before the SAT and/or ACT. Students who complete the PSAT in their junior year are automatically screened for National Merit® Scholarship Program (NMS). This is a very affordable opportunity for students to gain exposure to standardized testing. Ninth and tenth-grade students can take the PSAT, but the score that earns National Merit Scholarships is the score earned by juniors. Research has shown that a student’s scores typically improve the more familiar and experienced a student becomes with testing; however, students are only permitted to take the PSAT three times.  The PSAT is offered in October and students should locate a site where they can take this test in August or September because test booklets may be limited. A homeschooled student can take the PSAT at any public or private school location as long as the school allows participation.

Classic Learning Test

The Classic Learning Test (CLT) is a relatively new college test option. More than 200 colleges have adopted the CLT across the United States, including Bryan College. The mission of the CLT is to reconnect intellectual pursuit and virtue, and it is the only college entrance exam offered virtually at this time. This is an online test comprising 120 questions. As with other college entrance exams, there is a practice test available on the CLT website to help students prepare. One of the advantages of this test is that students are allowed to sign-up for the test on a date much closer to the actual test, without penalty, as compared to the ACT and SAT. Students should plan to take the CLT during their junior year or at the beginning of their senior year. The CLT10 comes with scholarship potential for tenth grade students and is offered several times a year.

Author Tip: Although many colleges are accepting CLT scores for admissions and scholarship purposes, there may be certain courses that require a minimum ACT or SAT course before the student can take those courses. Check with the college your student plans to attend to find out the policy of the college.

Additional Resources

Affording College

The sticker price of a college education can often be shocking, but in reality, students rarely pay the sticker price. On the other hand, knowing the sticker price helps one compare the cost of a college education at various colleges. Financial aid and scholarships are available to help manage the costs of college.

There are several ways for a student to receive financial aid. Scholarships are financial awards that are often applied directly to a student’s tuition or educational expenses. Although some outside scholarships may be presented as a check, these funds are typically submitted directly to the school to be applied to a student’s direct educational expenses. Most colleges offer a variety of scholarships unique to their institution, so be sure you make an appointment with a financial aid counselor at the colleges that your student is considering attending. There are various types of scholarships that are available to help manage college costs!


Author Tip: Before you begin applying for independent scholarships, make an entirely new email address devoted solely to this, because the mailbox will be inundated with information, requests, and solicitations. This will allow you to organize your scholarship communications and help ensure that you do not miss opportunities.


FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid and is the document that determines nearly all financial aid a student is qualified to receive. Every college-bound student (and parents of the student) should fill out the FAFSA, even if the student does not plan to receive Federal aid. Colleges often use the information provided by the FAFSA to help determine institutional scholarship amounts. The FAFSA website states: “Federal Student Aid is responsible for managing the student financial assistance programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. These programs provide grants, loans, and work-study funds to students attending college or career school.” FAFSA now allows students and parents to complete the application in October of the senior year (previously this was done in January of the senior year). Some scholarships and grants from federal, state, institutional, and private sources may have deadlines or be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Therefore, it is best to apply for financial aid as soon as possible for maximum aid consideration. When filling out the FAFSA, be sure to visit the official site.

Author Tip: There are sites that look like authentic FAFSA sites, but they are actually sites attempting to make money off of you by providing a service you do not really need. Be aware of the possibility of scam sites that ask for payment or credit card information. The FAFSA is completely free to file.

In order to fill out the FAFSA, you must first create an FSA ID. In the past, a PIN was required, but now it is an ID. The FSA ID can be requested at any time. There have been recent changes to the FAFSA that are noted in the document below.

Federal Scholarships

The government awards scholarships, grants, and loans based on the information provided by FAFSA. Not all colleges accept government aid, so be sure you find out if a college of interest accepts government aid if you are counting on that for your student.

Additional Resources

State Scholarships

Many states offer scholarships for students who attend college in-state. These scholarships are often tied to GPAs, test scores, community service, and more. State scholarships and grants vary widely. In Tennessee, grants are offered to students who have been a resident of Tennessee for at least one year.

Additional Resources

Private and Outside Scholarships

There are numerous scholarships offered by private organizations all over the country in amounts ranging from small to large. Some colleges may provide a list of outside scholarship opportunities, but most likely these scholarships will be found through research and referrals.

Author Tip: As I travel throughout the year to attend multiple conventions and curriculum fairs, I have come across several websites that offer scholarship opportunities. Although I am not endorsing any particular website, below is a list of several sites for your consideration. At Bryan College, there are scholarships available for merit, athletic, music, theater, martial arts, homeschooling, adoption, and more! Bryan College also hosts a scholarship event each semester for qualified seniors that award additional funds based on an interview with faculty. Also, Bryan College will award merit scholarships now based on either a student’s college exam score (and we superscore the ACT and SAT) or a dual enrollment GPA as long as nine credits have been earned. 

Scholarship Sharing

Tuition Funding Sources

The Home Education Recognition Organization

College Scholarships

Fast Web

Work-Related Scholarships

Many employers offer scholarships to their employees. If your student plans to work while in high school it may be beneficial to look for companies that offer college tuition benefits to their employees.

Author Tip: My suggestion to your student who will be working during his/her college years is to look for a chain that is located both in your hometown as well as near the location of the college the student will be attending. My friend’s son, who works for Publix, works at a Publix near the college he attends during the year and then transfers back to one near his home in the summer.

College-Specific Scholarships

College-specific scholarships will vary widely with each institution.

Author Tip: When our seventh child was entering his senior year of high school, we discovered that not only are residential scholarships offered by the State of Tennessee but there is also a scholarship for Rhea County residents. The scholarship is provided by Bryan College and awarded to students who complete their senior year in the college’s home county: Rhea County. We purposefully moved back to Rhea County so that our youngest three could take advantage of these two offers. This is a great example of how individual colleges offer special scholarships. Always research the scholarships available at the schools you are considering. You might be pleasantly surprised!

Athletic and Talent Scholarships

Most colleges recruit student-athletes and offer scholarships as incentives to play a sport for the school. Obtaining an athletic scholarship in college is hard work and very competitive. Student-athletes interested in playing a sport are encouraged to reach out to coaches in the summer or fall of their junior year and find out what that coach is looking for. This will allow plenty of time to visit the campus, attend any camps and allow the coach to come and see them play when possible.

Author Tip: Students planning to play a sport that is part of a conference need to meet certain qualifications, so be sure your students are aware of the college’s conference and the necessary requirements. 

Applying to College

Student on laptop
Author Tip: During high school, students should participate in community service, ministry, clubs, and other organizations. In addition, students may participate in conferences, mission trips, and more. Be sure to record each and every event, including jobs and volunteer work in a portfolio, or on a resume. Participation in athletic teams, speech and debate teams, music ensembles, or other activities should be recorded. If the student receives participation certificates, include copies of the certificates in the portfolio. If the student is mentioned in an article, include a copy of the article. Any training your student receives such as CPR, lifeguard training, etc. should be mentioned in a portfolio or on a resume.

Once a student has an idea of which colleges he would like to attend he should express interest in those colleges. Most colleges have an online form to request additional information about the school! This will put the student into the school’s system so that he can be assigned an admissions counselor and be kept up-to-date with what is going on at each college in regard to events, scholarships, fee waivers, incentives, and more. 

The earlier a student applies to a college “after completion of the junior year” the better his chances are for receiving scholarship awards that are limited in amounts. Most colleges require an application fee, and those fees can mount up if a student is applying to multiple colleges. There are often times throughout the year when application fees are waived. If a student is in the college’s system, they may receive emails or print mailings that provide fee waiver codes or instructions. Many colleges have online applications, but paper applications may be available as well. The most common information required for completing a college application are biographic information, self-reported high school GPA, extracurricular activities, self-reported entrance test scores, and major of interests. Most colleges will require the student to submit official high school transcripts, entrance test official scores, reference letters or contact information, and an essay. Some colleges require an interview that can be completed either over the phone or during a campus visit. Portfolios and resumes are not typically required for college admission; however, compiling an impressive portfolio or resume may help the student stand out amongst other applicants. Extracurricular activities, community involvement, or ministry experience may also lead to additional scholarship opportunities.

The criteria for acceptance at each college can vary widely, so it is important to research entrance requirements and ask questions. Students and parents should build a relationship with the admissions counselor and schedule meetings with key departments like financial aid.

Choosing a College

When the time comes to choose a college, the choices can certainly be overwhelming. The following list offers ideas on what to consider when choosing a college. When selecting colleges to apply to, these questions may also help narrow down the options. These are just suggestions and do not constitute a full list of considerations.

Author Tip: Consider building a spreadsheet and utilizing this list to compare the student’s top three to five schools. Place the school names in the first left-hand column and select as many or as few of the relevant questions to compare. Place those items selected across the top row and enter the values accordingly. This will allow you to compare several schools by the items that are most important to you and/or the student.

Size – Does the student want to attend a small, medium-sized, or large college?

Location – Does the student want to stay in-state, move out-of-state, or stay within a certain distance of home? 

Rural, urban, or suburban – Does the student have a preference?

Weather – Does it matter if the college experiences extreme weather conditions?

Christian or secular – Does the college teach classes from a biblical perspective? 

Dorms – What is the setup of the dorm: number of roommates, bathrooms, and community spaces? 

Food – Are there meal options, and if the student has food restrictions will those restrictions be accommodated?

Tutoring – Does the college offer tutoring for students needing help with classes, writing, assignments, and testing?

Majors – Does the college offer the student’s desired major and/or minor? 

Faculty-to-student ratio – Does class size matter to the student? 

Success rate – What percentages of students graduate and how many are successfully employed in their field of interest, and/or accepted into higher degree programs after graduation?

Athletics – Does the college offer scholarships to athletics and can multiple scholarships stack? Are there any opportunities for participating in a club or intramural sports? 

Scholarships – Are scholarships offered that fit the student’s academic excellence, talents, and abilities?

Scholarship events – Does the college offer scholarship events to high school seniors that award additional funds?

 Cost – Are the fees affordable after scholarships are taken into consideration?

Community involvement – Are there opportunities for students to be involved in the community?

Chapel – If Christian, does the college offer chapel, and, if so, how often and is it required?

Ministry opportunities – Does the college arrange opportunities for ministry?

Study abroad and International Outreach – Does the college offer study abroad and/or international service or internship programs? 

Work study – Does the college offer work opportunities for students with financial needs? 

References and referrals – Does the student know anyone personally who has attended the college so that feedback can be shared? 

Uniqueness – Is there anything unique to the college the student is considering? 

Counsel – What do those who know the student well (family and friends) think about the colleges being considered?

The College Timeline

Author Tip: Before you begin applying for scholarships, make an entirely new email address devoted solely to this, because the mailbox will be inundated with information, requests, and solicitations. This will allow you to organize your scholarship communications and help ensure that you do not miss opportunities.

9th Grade

Discuss course credits to include in the high school years.

Author Tip: Review high school credits required by the state and/or colleges of interest. Include English, history, science, and math, in addition to classes that interest the student, encourage character, teach computer skills, and more. Specialize classes and/or co-ops to the talents and interests of the student when possible

Begin helping your student discover their gifts and talents.

  • Join a local speech and debate club (or, in the absence of a local club, start one)
  • Discover local opportunities for co-ops, classes, athletics, music, drama, and/ or speech and debate opportunities.
  • Transcript: Keep records necessary to complete the high school transcript.
  • Community Service: Look for opportunities for your student (and/or the entire family) to volunteer, and participate in ministries, camps, classes, and more.
  • Get together a portfolio. Begin collecting and filing documents that provide proof of the student’s participation in community service, mission trips, camps, classes, athletic events, and more.
  • Participate in the PSAT testing that takes place in October if possible (College Entrance Exams for more info).
  • Have your student begin taking the CLT10.
  • Research dual enrollment opportunities including state grants if applicable.
  • If the student is ready and meets qualifications, apply to college for dual enrollment classes once the freshmen year is complete.

Look for local opportunities to take practice tests. Consider participating in TeenPact.

10th grade

Consider any items listed under 9th grade that have not been completed.

  • If the state in which you live offers grants and scholarships for dual enrollment and college, find out the qualifications for participation.
  • October: Participate in the PSAT testing that takes place in October if possible (see testing chapter for more info).
  • Consider having your student take college entrance exams, particularly if test scores are required for dual enrollment classes.
  • Apply to college for dual enrollment classes once the sophomore year is complete.
  • Consider College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and Advanced Placement (AP) opportunities for additional college credit. Check with top colleges’ choices to see if they accept CLEP and, if so if there are limitations.
  • Take the CLT10 (when taken in the 10th grade, each student has the potential to earn a $2,500 scholarship)

11th grade

Consider any items listed under 10th grade that have not been completed.

  • Plan classes according to academic needs, talents and interests, and opportunities.
  • If your state of residence offers grants and scholarships for dual enrollment, find out participation requirements.
  • Attend college fairs, request information, and visit colleges of interest.
  • Take college entrance exams, pinpoint weaknesses, and tutor to the weakness.
  • Purchase materials that will help improve test scores. Consider online tutoring for test prep. Refer to the test prep resources area.
  • Discover campus visits (including overnight visits) at colleges of interest.
  • Begin applying to colleges of interest (find out if there are events or times when the application fees are waived).
  • Begin applying to independent outside scholarships.

September: Discover opportunities for taking the PSAT in October and register for the exam.

October: Participate in the PSAT testing to qualify for National Merit Scholarships.

  • Any time during the year: Request FSA ID for student and parent in order to fill out the FAFSA the senior year.

Author Tip: Considering Christian colleges? In November Answers In Genesis (AIG) sponsors a free college fair for high school students that includes a free ticket to the ARK and the possibility of winning a $500 scholarship. All colleges represented are Christian colleges.

Answers in Genesis

12th grade

Plan classes according to academic needs, talents and interests, and opportunities.

  • Continue attending college fairs and visiting colleges of interest unless a firm decision has been made at this time.
  • If the state in which you live offers grants and scholarships for DE and college, find out the qualifications for participation.
  • Make sure all classes necessary for high school graduation are scheduled to be completed either by participation in class or by testing.

Author Tip: While there are no subjects required for graduation, it is important to consider the subjects and credits that colleges consider when reviewing high school transcripts for admission. See the chapter about high school curriculum to help guide you as you plan courses for your student.

  • Apply to colleges of interest. Pay careful attention to application deadlines.
  • Continue taking DE, CLEP, or AP tests as well as college entrance exams.
  • Attend scholarship events (when applicable) that take place at the college of interest.

Author Tip: At Bryan, these events take place once per semester of a student’s senior year. These are invitation-only events, extended to accepted seniors who meet the required qualifications.

  • October: Fill out the FAFSA
  • Spring: Be sure all subjects necessary for graduation will be completed. Continue taking college entrance exams if higher scores are needed for scholarships.
  • Begin preparing for orientation and move-in!
  • Pay required deposits and enrollment fees required by the college.

Author Tip: It is important to remember that some scholarships and grants may have deadlines or be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Make sure to apply for financial aid as soon as possible to ensure access to as much aid as your student may qualify for.

High School recommendations

The preparation for the journey from high school to college admission can be daunting. Hopefully, this has provided some guidance to help you navigate the steps to college admission. While it is important to start early, the timeline provided here is flexible and the recommendations can be applied no matter what year your student is in.

Front of Rudd and cross


Pat Wesolowski is an author, speaker, and homeschooling mother of 9 who is now the Homeschool Admissions Counselor at Bryan College. After homeschooling her 9 children for the past 32 years, she is finally finished! Pat has a heart for helping parents find joy in their homeschooling experience and, for that reason, loves teaching workshops in order to encourage and equip parents for a fun and successful homeschool experience. Pat is the host of a podcast entitled “The Homeschool Specialist,” writes a blog, and has a Facebook page for Bryan College Homeschool Admissions. Four of Pat’s children attended Bryan College.

If you would like to be added to Pat’s email contact list, send her an email and let her know in which state you live.

Homeschool Admissions
721 Bryan Drive
Dayton, TN 37321
Stophel 107, Box #7791

Office Phone: 423-775-7159

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